Your Baseball Swing and Internal Foot Traction
We hear a lot about foot stance, athletic stance, foot work, heel drop, rotation, position, load, launch and swing when we talk about batting. All of these play important roles in batting and they all rely on full or partial contact with the ground, through the feet. What is often overlooked, is the movement between the foot and the sole of the shoe and the impact that movement has on a batter’s swing.
What is Internal Foot Traction?
Internal foot traction refers to the traction created between the sole of a shoe and the foot inside of it. Cleats can be perfectly stable on the ground, but if the foot is sliding inside the cleat, slippage can occur and can change the entire swing of the bat and trajectory of a ball when one is hit. In short, better internal foot traction means better control in your batting.
How To Hit a Baseball
There are lots of videos and blogs out there that can teach you how to hit a baseball. In one of these, titled, “Footwork While Batting” - Lower Half Swing Mechanics, and produced by Ultimate Baseball Training, coach Justin breaks down, in minute detail, the baseball swing mechanics that occur while batting. From stance, to stride, load style, launch position and the entire swing, he describes how each part of the body is moving and how each movement precipitates the next.
He points out that there is no “best batter stance,” as stance is largely determined by preference. However, some techniques are pretty safe to stick to, such as keeping the weight balanced on the balls of the feet and not overshifting backwards when stepping into the swing. He mentions that the feet change positions as the hips rotate, which lifts the back heel off the ground just before the swing occurs.
As the back heel is lifting off the ground, the front heel is dropping into a plant for the swing to push into. The power and direction of this movement relies on the control maintained by the foot’s contact with the shoe and the shoe’s contact with the ground. If the foot slides within the shoe, the launch position, rotation and subsequent swing are all compromised. That is why having a great insole that produces traction between the sole and the foot is so important.
Enhance Your Baseball Batting Stance and Swing
Making sure your form is in line with the best batting practices and techniques is a huge part of training and honing your skills. You can be doing everything right and still experience slippage which can feel like a loss of control in your stance and swing. If you’ve ever wondered why you lose traction despite your feet feeling firmly planted on the ground, it could be the internal traction that is missing, meaning the traction between your foot and your insole.It is often the smallest and most unseen accouterments that get overlooked, yet having the right equipment is essential in today’s competitive sports environment. Insoles are the invisible and therefore missing piece to the batting puzzle. If you want to experience even more stability in your plant and swing, try an insole that provides internal traction like the Blumaka Konnect. Feel the difference this small piece of equipment can make and watch your batting and your game get even better.